The Joys of Being the Victim

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The Joys of Being the Victim

What a beautifully crafted and twisted lie we have learned from such an early age! This untruth is one of the biggest conundrums in human interaction. The idea of playing the victim.

Playing the victim is much different than being the victim. Being the victim is not a choice, but your decision to act as the victim, or play the victim, is completely up to you. This discussion is for all those out there who are self-inflicted victims, and others who want to understand them.

Growing Pains

Let’s go back to the beginning when we were still growing out of our jeans (length-wise), and putting holes in our socks on a daily basis. The age where ignorance was bliss and we learned everything we now know by the human interactions we witnessed. Did you ever get jealous when a sibling or friend got sick and they got ALL the attention? Perhaps, you also noticed that when someone got a ‘headache’ they didn’t have to go into work, or was able to skip school? Did you not quickly realize that if you were ‘suffering’ you could turn this into a pleasant experience?

In my day, when one of the kids in my family got sick or had to go to the hospital, our parents would get us a present to make us feel better. It always made going to the hospital for a broken bone or deep scrape more ‘okay’, and for me, I always hoped it really WAS strep-throat and not some silly cold that got me nada.

One day, my brother cut his thumb right down the side. It was pretty bad and it was bleeding profusely. Yet, after a thorough cleaning, it looked like a gnarly cut but didn’t quite look like it needed stitches… hence, no hospital and no present. Shortly after, my brother could be found in his room trying to physically widen his cut to have getting stitches more probable. Ironic eh?

This was not the intended response from our parents of course, but it didn’t take us long to realize the benefits of being the victim. This tends to carry on all through our lives and some people don’t shake it off. Our minds are tricky and they tend to believe what we shove into them, and some people actually start to create their own sicknesses and ‘headaches’. Kind of a double-edged sword don’t you think?

Benefits of Playing/Being the Victim

Being the victim is a confusing state to be in because on one level, a) you can’t live life to the fullest, and on another level, b) it is truly rewarding. Let’s look at the benefits of being the victim:

  • Pity and Guilt – Playing the victim allows others to have an emotional reaction to your situation. Their feelings of pity and/or guilt inspire them to extend a hand and help someone in need. Additionally, during an argument or fight, one can use this method to diminish their anger towards them by playing the weak and unassuming sufferer, and make them feel that this battle is their fault. Giving guilt to others by making them believe your unhappiness is their own doing is the most ignorant and shameful act to commit.
  • An instant gain in self-worth – Not only is everything pointed and blamed on someone else, but you have also found reason to point out everyone else’s wrong doings and thus establishing you as the right and just. Being the victim puts you in the seat of injustice being done to, and makes you the righteous one. People with lower self-esteem tend to like this for instant self-esteem boosting.
  • Permission to Give-Up – Unaccountability. You are not responsible for your own happiness, success, health, and current situation and have been rightfully endowed with permission from the highest, that you can now, without guilt or punishment, give up. Sounds good huh?Being the victim allows you to surrender. The world is no longer in your hands and you might as well continue suffering because there is nothing you can do about it. Takes a lot of stress off your shoulders right?
  • Enjoy your weakness – You can also be the victim of your own needs and desires. Why not binge drink, have an extra side of French fries, do drugs, or be lazy all day? It’s not your fault you feel this way, and if these things help you out, you might as well do them. Life is meant to be lived right?

The Dark Side of Playing the Victim

Sure, all is good and well in victimland, right? Unfortunately, you are doing more harm than good; let’s look at some of the negative aspects of playing the victim:

  • It knocks you down and keeps you there – If we are indeed responsible for our own happiness, then how do you change something when you have no control over it? You have given up control and this mindset will keep you down as long as you hold onto this victim strategy. Every time you reaffirm your victim status you reaffirm your decision to be unsatisfied with life.
  • Goodbye self-esteemIf you give up control of your own happiness, you also surrender your self-esteem. If you aren’t controlling your own outcomes, then you are worthless. This then, cycles back to creating self-worth by blaming external sources as previously discussed.
  • Relationship Stopper – Most people don’t enjoy spending time with people who make them feel guilty. People can’t share their joys and successes with victims because they are paranoid of making them feel worse about their current situation. This adds a strain to current relationships and prevents the creation of new ones.
  • Diminishes Future Success – When you see an obstacle, do you say ‘Another challenge to win?’ or ‘It’s too big for me.’ Victims will choose the latter. When you succeed at something it gives you more confidence to succeed again in the future. The opposite is also true, if you fail, or choose not to attempt a task, then you are programming yourself for future failure. The only thing you succeed at, is failing, and even that is shrugged off as something out of your control.
  • Vanishing Vitality – The word ‘vitality’ is even fun to say and it’s a sad thought if you can’t muster any of it because of your self-defeating attitude. You’d rather be sleeping than living, watching TV over exercising, or doing nothing rather than learning!

Ask Yourself

It’s hard to recognize when we have decided to be the victim. Being the victim is a choice and as we have seen, it can be a quite comforting place to be in. Have you become a victim of your unconscious choosing? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does everything happen to me? Do I use statements, such as ‘This always happens to me!’
  • Do people always get in the way of what I am trying to do?
  • Was my last relationships ended because of something they did?
  • Do I miss work a lot because of non-serious illnesses?
  • Do I expect other people to cheer me up when I am down?
  • Do I complain about my current situation to others even if it’s temporary one?
  • Do I find that people try to avoid starting a discussion with me and keep it surface level?
  • Am I no longer excited about learning? Or bettering myself? Why?

Be straight and honest with yourself. If you find this to be true about yourself, then you have already started your resolve by recognizing it. Let’s add some gusto to that attitude and discuss the benefits of changing this attitude.

The Benefits of Not Playing the Victim

“We are not the victims of the world, but the victims of the way we see the world.” – Carol Record

Let’s get OUT of this situation of playing the victim. There are so many reasons why it’s a comfortable place to be in, so why not play the victim? We always need valid reasons to change a mindset or habit, so here are a few to chew on:

  • Take control of your life – Accountability. You realize that you are the only one that can change your happiness, success, or health and you no longer wait around for others to do it for you! The sooner you consciously decide to start taking control of your life, the sooner all the positive benefits will be seen.
  • Stronger Relationships – Relationships will not rely on pity or guilt to keep it strong. Your relationships will be grounded on an even playing field where both contribute equally to the relationship. As well, you won’t feel the urge to turn a conversation to be about yourself. You can sincerely feel happy for another person’s happiness and success without the jealous feeling of ‘how lucky they are.
  • More Successful – Choosing not to be the victim, also means taking the initiative to improve yourself and looking for opportunities, instead of waiting for them to find you. Making the decision to be more proactive in your career and life gives you vigor to succeed, opens eyes and ears for opportunities, and generally makes you more pleasant to work with.
  • Positive Thinking and Outlook – When you stop kicking yourself and thinking negatively, it will allow the room for a better way of thinking. Positively! Read the Power of Positivity. Changing the way you think changes the way you see the world.

Summary

Sure, playing the victim can have its benefits but ultimately is much more harmful and keeps you down in the dumps. Besides, all the cool kids (and successful ones) are choosing a different route; a life filled with potential, positivity, happiness, and independence. Choosing to be responsible for your own happiness, health, and success lets you be the one in command! You will have an uplifting personality and your personal life, work life, and health will see noticeable improvements!

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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